CHICO — With gas prices on the rise and the spring season starting March 20, sports stores in Chico have started to see an increase in bike sales.
Claire Williams, a manager at Chico Sports Ltd, said that bike sales have slightly increased at the store because of the weather. However, Williams said she thinks the store will start to see an additional increase of bike sales because of gas prices.
“With the gas prices rising, we really are going to start pushing with social media and marketing towards that,” Williams said.
E-bike sales have become popular for commuters around Chico, Williams said. She said that she has an increase in bikes sales because of gas prices in trends in the cities like Los Angeles and San Diego. Williams said a lot of students have been buying bikes in other cities before the recent increase in gas prices, so she thinks that’s trend is going to start to be the same in Chico.
Williams expects a big surge in bike sales to happen in about a month when people start to feel the effect of the high gas prices. According to AAA, the average gas price in the Chico and Paradise area Friday for regular unleaded gas is $5.56, which is the all-time high for the area.
“We are projecting amping up our bike sales for the end of April into early May being our peak period due to the price increase,” Williams said.
Although Chico Sports Ltd is seeing a slight increase in bike sales, North Rim Adventure Sports has been seeing an increase in people wanting to get their bikes out of storage and ready to ride. Samuel Bransky, the service manager for North Rim Adventure Sports, said that many people have brought their bikes out of storage to cut back on gas costs.
“We have seen a lot of people bringing bikes out of storage to get work done on them getting ready to hit the road, so they can start commuting to work and back,” Branksy said.
Bransky said it’s hard to determine why the store has seen an increase in bike sales because the store has already been consistently seen an increase in bike sales. The bike sales are because people fell in love with biking during quarantine, Bransky said.
Not all sports stores have seen an increase in foot traffic or bike sales. However, with the spring season coming closer, Whitney Garcia, a general manager at Campus Bicycles, said this is around the time that the store sees an increase in bike sales.
“If there were to be that trickle-down effect of gas prices getting too high and people buying bikes to offset that, I would imagine that we’d probably see that in three to six weeks,” Garcia said. “This seems like it’s a little bit too early and people are probably still talking about options.”
Garcia said she has heard some people talk about buying bikes because of gas prices, but she doesn’t think people are necessarily serious about buying bikes.
“It’s the same kind of talk that people have about anything that’s been going on right now,” Garcia said. “It’s more just speculation at this point.”